tv [untitled] December 18, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm EST
i'm. going to be. coming up on our t.v. journalists to help reveal the expansion of n.s.a. surveillance testifies before the e.u. parliament committee glenn greenwald shared what he believes to be the n.s.a.'s ultimate goal we'll tell you what he said just ahead and senator john mccain goes rogue again overseas his trip to ukraine is the latest senator traveling to troubled nation is to exert foreign influence more on the maverick and his thirst for war coming up. and a u.s. senator releases a report on wasteful federal spending the waste book two thousand and thirteen covers everything from military spending to tax breaks brothels and an in-depth look at government wasteful spending is coming up later in the show.
it's wednesday december eighteenth four pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sax and you're watching our team and we begin with the man who brought edward snowden's n.s.a. documents to the world glenn greenwald he testified today in front of a european union parliament committee looking into n.s.a. surveillance on e.u. citizens and he had some harsh words for the european governments working with the n.s.a. . and governments are devoted to the elimination of privacy worldwide is the u.s. the u.k. and its three partners are utterly devoted to doing that has profound consequences for we're everybody who communicates electronically greenwald who is in possession of the cache of n.s.a. documents obtained by edward snowden revealed what he believes to be the n.s.a. is all to make goal and also made it clear that the as his activities go far beyond
counterterrorism the n.s.a. documents they are here is teaching us with all sorts of references to the fact of the goal of the n.s.a. is captured by the phrase call left at all. in the united states one of those has top defenders senator dianne feinstein the chairwoman of the senate intelligence committee made some surprising comments about the n.s.a.'s bulk phone metadata collection program suggesting she may be open to reforming it after all. this program in conjunction with other programs helps keep this nation safe i'm not saying it's indispensable but i'm saying that it is important and it is a major tool him staring out a potential terrorist attack i'm not saying it's indispensable that's what she said and that's a backtrack her comments come after a federal court here in washington d.c. ruled this week that the phone metadata collection program at the n.s.a.
may be unconstitutional and her comments also come as tech companies many that have participated in these n.s.a. spying programs lobbied the white house on tuesday for aggressive n.s.a. reform and today the white house announced that it will release a so-called independent report containing more than forty recommendations for reform to the n.s.a. we'll keep an eye on this developing story. now to ukraine where the united states is trying to influence the protests that have been seen on the streets in that country over the last month senator john mccain went on one of his famous or infamous diplomatic missions this time to kiev where he met with opposition leaders and protesters and pushed for closer ties with the european union mccain whether the state department likes it or not has become a maverick ambassador to the world in recent years though often with not so satisfactory results as abby all hisor points out this week in the wire when john
mccain comes to town talking freedom disaster ensues most recently mccain was in cairo in august following the gyptian military coup since then protests have continued in that country as well as violent crackdowns and now the former democratically elected president mohamed morsi is facing terrorism charges that could result in his execution also mccain visited syria back in may where he met with rebels and became the biggest supporter of arming the opposition in the syrian civil war since then that opposition has been routed and far more radical elements of the opposition are exhibit was earning more and more control and initiating violence within the ranks. mccain also met with rebels in libya back in april of two thousand and eleven specifically he met with them in benghazi and we all know what happened there later so it seems like wherever mccain goes the situation deteriorates which doesn't bode well for ukraine and one has to wonder how
a senator like john mccain has garnered such respect in the senate when it comes to foreign policy today the united states is nearing a nuclear deal with iran but just a fear you few years ago this was senator mccain solution to the situation in iran and then over the whole beach boys song bomb iran. but anyway. at i think iran is a great threat that the rays are continuing their efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon. mccain was also one of the many voices who thought the war in iraq would be a cakewalk it wasn't he also thought the later troop surge in iraq that he supported was responsible for a drop off in violence it wasn't instead it was the sunni awakening which happened several months before the surge and as most u.s. troops have left iraq today mccain in two thousand and eight was calling for a much longer occupation of that country president bush has talked about are seeing
in iraq for fifty years maybe one hundred is that is that long been in we've been in south korea we've been in japan for sixty years we've been in south korea for fifty years or so and be fine with me so the question is why is john mccain's interventionist foreign policy which is subscribed to by many elected lawmakers still taken seriously joining me now is to answer that is j.d. to chile managing editor at reason twenty four seven just you welcome back to the show. so pretty simple is john mccain the foreign policy kiss of death. yeah i would say pretty much a man if nothing else he goes into a country he opens his mouth and he gives a local authoritarian regimes great cover to say their local nationalists look i'm being leaned on by the us you know this is what set up an area obvious we don't want to go in mccain's direction even when he's right by accidents he doesn't
they're always a bull in a china shop so he does an enormous damage at that around the world well mccain isn't the only one who sort of subscribes to this belief lindsey graham is with him on a lot of these issues and connecticut's democratic senator chris murphy when with mccain to ukraine this week how is this hyper interventionist ideology still legitimize despite its disastrous effects that we've seen over the last several years because more than anything it plays to the local t.v. audience and plays the media the united states i'm not even sure that it's intended to that effect on the international stage and certainly it's counterproductive in many cases on the international stage however it makes headlines you and i are talking about him and that gets the politicians in front of a camera and gets them it's a news print and that may be the end goal for at least a couple he said these guys anyway when it comes to ukraine specifically mccain is aligned himself with an opposition party and a leader that has some questionable nationalist anti-semitic past. he just
basically is stepping into a complicated situation here what's he hoping to accomplish. you know that's a great question are you right now you've got a three way trade struggle going on ukraine is caught the middle the government there has a lot of problems it's also an enviable situation and the people in the streets of elitism it demands but what an american politician steps into a situation like that and starts throwing his weight around and he gives it he gives the local government some cover to resist the americans and it helps pull ups and national fervor and nationalist fervor and it's it complicates the actual arguments you can place in that country it doesn't do anybody any favors they have a problem that has to resolve locally it's not something that john mccain is going to fix we're nearly went to war with syria a few months back the president came very close to launching military strikes something that mccain and company have been calling for for more than a year now does that suggest that despite the rhetoric coming from president obama about diplomacy and the importance of diplomacy that this white house is a lot closer to mccain's interventionist thinking that it lets on well you know
we've had continuous flow of foreign policy continuity i would say at least since two thousand that is no particular reason to draw a bright line between bush administration foreign policy and obama administration foreign policy is fine tuning there's a difference in detail and emphasis but the fundamental premises are the same extent eventually or else it's militaristic and it's one that sees its goals as being one with troops or these days with drones the president right now is pushing back against criticism he's received from the interventionist far right on this potential for an iranian nuclear deal but this deal wouldn't have been possible had the president gone through with military strikes in syria isn't that right. well i'm not sure what kind of a deal is going to is going to come out of this but these discussions have been ongoing for years are our regimes brought to the table with threats of course they are does that mean that you're achieving your end goals with threats that the
people on the ground the people in the streets are better off at the end of the day because you threatened you ship weapons and that i think is more complicated if we look at these international conferences and whether the pressure is growing interventionist at the right and the left because this tends to be a shared fetish the end result tends to be something it's the headlines with politicians meeting but the people actually suffered to be a little more anonymous most of the people of the in the streets on the ground judy if decade of war that we've seen increasing extremism so we've had we've gone on this war on terror for more than ten years as a result we've seen an increase in extremism the loss of huge amounts of treasure the amount of money we've thrown into this war on terror and intervention if all of this isn't enough to stop the interventionist when they go out there and call for us to go into another country then what will what will it take for people like john mccain and lindsey graham to see error in their ways pushing them aside there's no way that people who have who have based their careers this type of guy out policy
this kind of goal are going to renounce it decided that it's we're are rarely are they going to renounce the saturday been in error for decades they're going to be pushed aside we spent a vast amount of money we spent currently somewhere around the forty percent of total military spending on the planet comes from this country and yes extremism has written or has risen around the world we have not achieved a safer planet i would say the foreign policy that we've been pursuing has failed they're not going to admit that you know we need to push sweep them aside but different people in place to implement a different foreign policy should be managing editor at reason twenty four seven thank you thank you. well moving on to syria where there are growing concerns over rampant lawlessness and violence at the hands of extremists working within the opposition or care because funded aboutalebi albo higher has more terror still fills the hearts of those who witnessed the militants entering the town of vadra they saw panic disoriented people running for their lives and they ran
themselves they will never forget the despair in the eyes of those who were forced to stay behind we have no reliable way to communicate with the people trapped inside adder but officials are saying the atrocities against the civilian population are continuing people are being butchered and even burned alive and every bit of news coming out of the town is dealing a new blow to those whose families are still being held by the militants everyone working for the local authorities was to be killed regardless of their religion or denomination they were all taken to be killed they took everyone even those who supported neither the government nor the rebels they were all either tortured killed or used as human shields the things being done in a drawer unthinkable they're slaughtering children and throwing them out of windows and no one's doing anything about it syrian authorities say they have evidence confirming that massacres have taken place and address sadat let taqiyya and many other areas which remain under the control of the armed opposition the situation in
syria has now deteriorated to the point that international norms of combat are no longer being observed. he's an industrial town with a lot of the president's working both in the private sector and for government agencies horrifying crimes have been committed in this town houses who are set on fire with people trapped inside the syrian army which is positioned just outside the town continues to carry out surgical strikes as part of their effort to liberate address which is now the only hope of the families waiting for news of their loved ones inside the town. r t along with the reports of indiscriminate massacres there are concerns that relations between christians and muslims in syria and the rest of the middle east are rapidly deteriorating in fact prince charles spoke about this topic in london this week telling a reception for middle east christians that we have now reached
a crisis where bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so we cannot ignore the fact that christians in the middle east are increasingly being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist islamic militants so what's behind this in what effect might it have on the broader middle east and answer to that i'm joined by ahmed a middle east analyst achmed welcome back to the show. thank you sam it's a pleasure to be back christians and muslims have lived to side by side in part of the middle east for quite a long time what is behind what prince charles refers to as the deliberate burning of bridges going on right now in the middle east. we have to take into consideration that from two thousand and three and the us invasion to iraq the balance of powers and again the balance of. countries relationships have fallen apart we have to recall that there was more than one
million iraqi christians who have been forced out of their countries right now in syria we have a total population of two million christians living there and out of those two million population about four or five thousand have fled the country. about eighteen months ago there was the bishop raju of the matter knight the church in lebanon who is a supporter of the regime and he is very bluntly about the whole situation that his biggest fear is to witness in syria what will happen what has happened before in iraq so yes i agree with his royal highness prince charles it is and that a-g. that there is a deliberate action to bring down the relationships the muslim christians relationship into. stage we this is very evident in iraq in
syria and in egypt as well it's so the u.s. it's been meddling in the middle east for decades and over the last decade actively engaged in warfare in several countries in the middle east are you saying that that exacerbates the problem of violence against christians do extremists see these populations as extensions of the west extensions of the united states. no it's not it's not like that it is perceived from the i would call them the mickey mouse organizations such as the. islamic state in the iraq and the event such as al qaida such as the salafi movements that are now washer and all over the sunni world across the middle east these all while seemingly. independent media don't have a central command in reality they all act in sync they have a very clear message you just have to follow the. rhetoric in the countries that
they operate in that they are anti christians and jews and even muslims who might be secular or who might be shared or home i'd be not agreeing hundred percent on the. dogma. but what are the consequences of a christian free syria or more broadly even a christian free middle east if this continues well now we have a christian free iraq. which is referred to as syria lebanon and palestine if this is all have been emptied from the christians. will not to overrule the ten million plus christians in egypt will also be next to follow will not overloaded the. christians in jordan also will will follow this this is very sad we are being captured as hostages by these
movements these seem to be separate yet the united. what do you make of how the u.s. is responding to this issue given the conflicting interests here for example in syria you have the assad government which has been friendly to the christian communities but the u.s. is opposed to the assad government instead favors the rebels which we're now seeing factions of the rebels not being friendly to christians can the u.s. even play a role in mitigating this problem nobody understands what the us. game . this at this time in the middle east the u.s. the first time in a very long time. are perceived in the middle east even by its strongest allies such as saudi arabia and egypt as an unreliable bargain there this is quite harsh i have not heard of such a harsh criticism for the u.s.
government probably since the height of the n.t. american sentiments in. the middle east in the sixty's and the seventy's this is unheard of the us i don't fortunately does not have a game plan the us is dealing with the situation there in a very mature istic very inexperienced and very shallow way in approaching the whole situation that was middle east analyst. thank you thank you sam. the senate foreign relations committee is set to consider a new bill that could have wide ranging implications for u.s. foreign assistance take a look at this it's today's a business meeting agenda for the foreign relations committee in the senate and at the top of the list is something called the egypt assistance reform act of twenty thirteen fishel is within the white house have been working with the senate committee to get this bill passed which could loosen restrictions on u.s.
aid to countries experiencing a military coup like egypt according to section seven zero zero eight of the two thousand and twelve state department and foreign operations appropriations law none of the funds appropriated shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat this law complicated things and earlier this year when egypt's democratic government was overthrown by the military in the us was forced into reconsidering its hefty foreign aid contributions to egypt obama administration has been careful not to use the word coup to describe what occurred in that country and this new law soon to be under consideration in the senate would scrap section seven zero zero eight and allow post-coup countries to apply for a waiver to continue receiving aid from the united states unclear what hurdles the law could face both within the full senate and the house of representatives.
staying on capitol hill let's talk about government waste this week senator tom coburn introduced his any will waste book documenting one hundred examples of government waste is one example coburn highlights is the national technical information services which wastes fifty million dollars every year compiling reports for other government agency reports that are mostly available for free using a simple google search we go now to our tease megan lopez who are bill's what else is in this year's waste book. one million dollars on romance novels ten million on a new reality t.v. show two hundred thousand on a party at paramount studios he's expenses might sound like extravagant hollywood expenditures but those are just three things the u.s. government spent taxpayer money on this year republican senator tom coburn released volume four of his government waste book this week detailing one hundred instances
of what he considers irresponsible spending inside the waste book this year is thirty billion dollars stupid what i would consider stupid or at least poor judgment when it comes to spending money in a time when we have very little money to spare while the defense department and other government agencies say there is nothing more to cut senator coburn is telling congress to think again whether you agree with my opinion or not in the issue the fact is if you look at the seven hundred billion dollars and deficits and almost eighteen trillion dollar debt. some grown up in the room has to question whether or not we're spending money wisely in effect to play so what does waist look like last year the government spent nearly three hundred million dollars on an unused army blimp fifty million on an unfinished parking garage that was started in one nine hundred ninety seven twenty nine million dollars on dale earnhardt jr is
nascar team the list goes on and on and on in all the ways book points out nearly thirty billion dollars in money misuse that's enough to cut the seaquest ration our country currently faces by one third one sweet spot for cutting a government program that's meant to protect sugar farmers from seasonal volatility and allows the sugar farmers to pay back their government loans using well sugar it's a sweet deal that coburn says wasted one hundred seventy one point five million dollars and twenty thirteen but the sugar alliance argues that government policy forces them to operate this way because mexico has flooded the u.s. market with unneeded subsidize sugar over supplies are near record highs and sugar prices are nearing record lows without the minimal safety net that kicked in this year many u.s. sugar producers would be put out of business and america would be more dependent on unreliable foreign suppliers for a key food ingredient and that would be
a recipe for disaster the sugar alliance says it's willing to forfeit the loans if the government levels the global playing field from sugar crops to sugar daddies in a section called pimping the tax code he took aim at nevada's brothels for receiving brakes on business and operating fees seventeen point five million dollars and all something the owner of the moonlight bunny ranch says is unfair dennis argues he already pays his fair share of taxes the first eight years of the biggest taxpayer. caring for a wife or brothels in lake county nevada half a million dollars a year in business license fees as for the deductions the women he employees receive nails hair cell phone clothes little i was photographing shoes dennis contends prostitution is like any other business
since a carpenter be able to write off a hammer these are business expenses her business expenses just are little different in the end senator coburn blames congress and says the only way to stop the waste is to quit electing people that care more about being in washington than actually fixing it the only thing that's going to change is for the american people to quit sending people up here with a motivation to how do they stay here that's why term limits is something that has to happen in this country because i guarantee if you had term really strong term limits people the people who would be here would not be the people who are here today if not senator coburn warns that this waste book could get a lot thicker as politicians raise taxes rather than cut off the lifestyles of the rich and powerful in the waste book capital of the country meghan lopez r t. now a tip for those who want to pull a fast one on their employers pretending to be
a cia agent to get out of coming into work does actually work only for about a decade today a former high ranking official with the environmental protection agency was sentenced to thirty two months in prison for stealing government property from the year two thousand all the way up until this year sixty five year old john beals seen here was collecting a paycheck from the e.p.a. not only was he collecting a paycheck but he was the agency's highest paid employee making more than two hundred thousand dollars a year but he hardly ever went to work taking months off at a time he even took eighteen months straight off work between two thousand and eleven and two thousand and twelve. i was able to do this because he told the e.p.a. that he was busy on assignment in pakistan working for the cia but bill was actually just taking on vacations and getting paid handsomely for them he never worked for the cia that he was able to get away with the ruse for more than a decade because the e.p.a. never bothered to check out his cover story as part of the plea deal beal has
a greed to pay nearly nine hundred thousand dollars in restitution back to the e.p.a. plus forfeit another half million dollars. we have some breaking news now from the white house as i mentioned earlier in the show the president's review panel charged with looking at surveillance capabilities and practices was going to release its report and it has now released its report more than three hundred page report provides nearly fifty recommendations to improve the program that n.s.a. whistleblower edward snowden has unveiled over the past six months and better protect americans privacy in the process some of those recommendation recommendations include amending section two fifteen of the patriot act which the n.s.a. has used to justify its mass collection of phone metadata from around the world and that the government should not be permitted to collect and store personal information for future data mining on such a large scale we'll have more on this story as we continue to work through the report and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com forward slash r t america check out our website r t dot com ports i should
say follow me on twitter at sam sachs we'll see you later. and. i would rather ask questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on r.t. question for. no the way out of this assad has to go this is look if you believe me. for two
years you know jay said assad house to go it's not going to happen to do with it was going to happen it would have happened he has the upper hand he's not he's not losing this war of course he doesn't have control of the entire part of the entire song borders of syria and that's why i brought up geneva too that is one way to move this process forward because i agree with sunny we will have a perpetual stalemate here the man wants to show up in geneva who's he going to talk to i think the geneva conference will be stillborn if the united states and its allies goes in with the precondition regime change of assad leaving power i think they need to back off of that that red line and look at a way to pursue new elections fair elections and obama can claim that he has been the assad regime by quarantining and removing and destroying his chemical weapon so he can claim that political victory and then move toward stability in the country.
hey hey i marinate this is boom bust and here are some of the stories we're tracking for you today. first up j.p. morgan is cutting yet another check to the justice department this time for the troubles of bernie made off we'll tell you all about it coming up and you also when you arrive print money counterfeiting on my part direct from jim birth his new film money for nothing the director joins us today from our l.a. studios hopefully to discuss his bad play later on in the show and finally it would be nice if real life shopping it was just like online shopping what if it were the same thing one startup is trying to make out a reality and i will tell you all.